INTRODUCING BETTY ZINE

During lockdown, a group of surf ladies got together on their local surf
Facebook group to try and channel their energy into something positive and creative during lockdown. The result is Betty Zine, a collection of submitted art, photography, writing, poems, DIY projects and other inspiration about our shared love of the ocean (and playing in it).

Interview with Betty Zine by Tyla Rose

What you have done with this is so amazing – Aotearoa has needed something like this! Who’s currently behind the mag, and where are you girls from?

There are many women behind the zine; it’s a reflection of our female surfing community in Aotearoa. Three of us have been working behind the scenes to make it happen. Zofia spearheads the project and is our chief curator and designer. Rachel is our editor and Steph is the words behind our social media. We didn’t know when we started the project that the three of us live in Muriwai! Zof in a tiny house, Steph with her partner and one-and-a half year old Kaio, and Rachel in a plywood shack!

How did the idea for a kiwi focused women’s surf mag come to mind?

Betty really evolved out of the community around us, rather than setting out to be that specifically. Surfing is the fastest growing sport in NZ and more ladies are trying it out, not only because of the health benefits but for mental wellbeing and connection to nature. We (women surfers) are shaping part of women’s history. Betty’s not really a traditional ‘sports’ magazine; the content is about surfing and the ocean but also about the inspiration, culture and love that comes with the lifestyle and engaging with the ocean. We, as women, have a unique and meaningful take on surfing that you don’t often see or hear about in the mainstream media surrounding surfing.

What was the process like between coming up with the idea and getting it to happen? (Especially amidst lockdown!)

Zofia, instead of searching for paid work (boring!), posted in the Ultimate Surf Betty’s Facebook group asking if anyone would be interested in submitting creative projects they’d been working on in lockdown with the idea that they could be turned into a simple zine. The response was overwhelmingly positive and content poured in. The process was mostly us making things up as we went along. As the content started coming in, Zofia basically designed the whole thing in under two weeks, while also researching costs to print and post. There have been some mega-steep learning curves in terms of setting up online payments, building websites, negotiating printing delays due to social distancing regulations, social media posting but it’s all come together and we are so stoked!

We cant wait to see what you girls do from here… at the moment you guys are sold out of your first copy- how can people who are interested follow your journey and support you?

Wahooo! We thought we’d only sell 50 but we’ve sold 250! We’ll be releasing an online version to buy if you missed out on our first issue. A second issue is already in the works! In the future we’d love to pay our contributors for their work. We also think it would be rad to host some events and we are launching a website where we want to sell some of the art prints of our amazing women, as well as build a bigger community with women-led surf content and a directory of Bettys in business. If you like what we do, follow us on social media, spread the word and buy the zine!

Lastly… favourite thing about surfing! And why?

Steph: Surfing is a channel for me to honor, respect and cherish Mother Earth. It has brought me my best friends, allowed me to travel the globe, pushed and challenged me. It has brought me my beautiful partner, our son, my zest for life and overall happiness. I am so grateful that I live everyday with the waves at my doorstep.

Rach: For me, surfing has been both a mirror and a lense. It has shown me levels of strength and fear and joy I previously never knew I had the capacity for. It has also been a window for me to look at the world and my life in a way that made me re-prioritise. I’ve made my best friends and memories through surfing. It’s all about connection with both earth and people.

Zofia: You can read an article about it in the zine.

Pre-orders are open now! Want to submit ideas or content? Send them to us surfbettyzine@gmail.com Want to find out more? Follow along @betty.zine

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